But he's gone.
My love is gone. It surprised both of us, quite frankly, but the man that was here last fall and the man that has been so wonderful all year.... has completely gone M.I.A.
I knew it was time to let go of expectations early in this. The kids and I had planned on greeting him outside, I would rush into his arms and Rose would take our photo. Well, somehow I missed him pulling up outside; the kids were eating dinner and he rang the doorbell. When Rose excitedly left the table and Grace tried to rush right behind her, Grace fell out of the chair and busted her lip on the floor.
I was trying to get to the door myself and had to send Rose in my place. Grace was lying on the floor on her face and screaming. This is how he was greeted. Me, all dressed up carrying my baby girl to the bathroom to clean up her lip.
He didn't even touch me. His initial efforts were with my children, greeting them and talking to them. He wanted them to get used to him again. At one point, I leaned into a hug with him and he kissed me. I melted into butter trying to catch my breath.
For two hours I watched him reconnect with my girls. Both girls showed off their new talents: Grace writing her name and Rose with reading him a book. He picked them up and swung them around. They tackled him on the couch. He picked me up and tried to hang me upside down too! Finally I got everyone settled down and he asked if we could all sit together on the couch. He was quiet but smiling, saying he enjoyed sitting with 3 pretty girls.
The ex came and got them. The meeting between these two men was very uneventful. Both of them enjoying the girls, smiling, talking and laughing. I was relieved. Even after the ex left, my soldier said that he was happy to see the girls so comfortable with their father.
**I just typed that phrase "my soldier" and it doesn't feel right anymore. Let's just call him Soldier from now on. OK?**
We proceeded with the most primal and insane sex I've ever had. I'm not even sure how long we were at it but it had to be at least two hours. I enjoyed it immensely but somewhere in the middle of all of it, I realized that he had still not kissed me.
We munched out in the kitchen and watched a movie in bed. It felt good to have him near me. He looked so wonderful. He has got to be one of the hottest men I have ever seen. All during the night, he would reach for me. He always had a hand on my arm or leg or in my hand. I was smiling all night.
Yesterday morning, we were up for a bike ride. He was very quiet and only concerned with getting his bike ready. I am used to riding with other men who were very attentive to me - usually pumping up my tires at the same time as pumping up their own. I finally guessed that he was nervous. It has been an entire year since he'd been on a bike. He wasn't sure who we'd be riding with and how he'd do.
We had a great ride. It was a flawless day. I did notice that when I was with him, I would have to physically take his hands and put his arms around me. I began to feel a little irritated with this. It was about mid-day back at my house when I pointed it out to him.
"Remember what I told you before I left for Iraq," he began, "When I said I wouldn't be able to be here for you emotionally. Well, I still can't. It surprised me, quite frankly, I thought I'd be ok until I saw you last night. I don't like when you're making me hold you or making me kiss you. I'm feeling forced and I've been told what to do for the past year."
It stung. I walked away and sorted through it. Ok, he's still got up his wall. This is normal. I will allow him his space. And I did.
We went out for the day and had a great time. We were completely enjoying ourselves and returned back to my house last night.
We were standing in my kitchen eating when I leaned on him and said, "Its so good to have you here. I'm really enjoying taking care of you. Are you enjoying it too?" I had my head on his shoulder.
He backed away from me, "I can't do this. I need you to stop. Every time you do something for me, I'm feeling pressure. I can't be what you need right now. I can't give you affection and intimacy. I thought I could but I can't. Now I just feel like I can't do anything but disappoint you. Maybe I should go."
I was completely taken aback. We talked for an hour. He admitted he felt pressure from me at times saying "I love you" while he's been deployed. He went on and on saying that I had all of these expectations that we were going to be together, that he would retire and be with me, that he would marry me. He was frustrated and didn't want to be near me.
I stood there and listened. And then I said, "Do you know that I didn't have any of these expectations? These are all things that you said to me. These are all things that you told me you wanted last fall. These are things you've implied to me all year. I didn't know what to expect from you. I thought you liked affection. I thought you wanted nurturing. I wasn't pressuring you. I was giving you what you want... what you've always told me you wanted. I think you're frustrated because you did want those things. I think you're disappointed in yourself because now you don't know. I think you're frightened to open yourself up to it again. I think being with me makes you feel that."
He told me that I was right. But that man is gone. That man is buried underneath the weight of a soldier who didn't want to be touched. He said he felt as if he was wasting my time because I deserved better. He said he probably wouldn't be that man again until long after the deployment ends and he will have moved somewhere else. He said he felt like he was only disappointing me because he couldn't be intimate with me. He said he takes it very seriously that I have children and that maybe we shouldn't do this anymore. He didn't even think it was fair to have sex with me anymore.
I calmed him down and we did spend more time together last night. I gave him a relaxing massage and we again had very animalistic sex. He wanted to snuggle as we both fell asleep. I, as normal when my heart is breaking, woke up in a panic at 3 a.m. and again this morning.
He is still in my bed right now. After he fell asleep, he stayed on his side of the bed all night. My heart feels heavy in my chest. I feel like I can't breathe.
I'm going to be his friend today as we go watch a football game together. Then, I will most likely ask him to leave. I think I'm done with this. This may be our final chapter.